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What is the right to due process?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Civil Rights Violations

As a U.S. citizen, you have many rights. You gain these through the constitution, which provides you some important protections, especially when you face criminal charges. One of those rights is due process, but many people do not understand what this means.

Cornell Law School explains the right to due process means the government will treat you fairly and provide you with a legal and fair process under the judicial system.

In the constitution

The right to due process comes from two areas within the constitution. It is first in the Bill of Rights in the Fifth Amendment. Here it says the government cannot take away your rights to life or freedom or your right to property without providing you due process.

It also appears in the 14th Amendment. This is perhaps the best know because it has the nickname of the due process clause. This amendment assigns the duty to offer due process to the states as well.

In practice

There are no hard rules for ensuring due process or for a judge to follow to ensure there is due process, but there are some general guidelines. It begins with an unbiased judge and jury, the ability to present evidence against a charge, proper notice of charges and other actions, the ability to confront witnesses against you and a record of evidence.

The general guidelines cover most of the other rights you have, so due process kind of serves as a check to ensure a court or any other authority does not strip you of rights you have under the constitution.

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